Pre-Colonial periods in Latin America
Latin America in general refers to the countries south of the United States of America where the Latin derived language known as Romance is spoken. Before the colonization of these regions, there existed indigenous people, some of which, had civilization that were notably advanced such as the Maya, Aztec and Inca. The Latin America countries have an almost similar history in politics, economic and social establishment. The region has always been populated in earlier millennia of which a precise dating cannot be conducted due to scarce sources of documented history. However, in places such as the Andes and the Mesoamerica regions have always had highly developed establishments of flourishing civilizations (Michael 75).
Colonization in this region began with the sailing of Christopher Columbus who docked there in 1492. The Spaniards later travelled there with the intention of converting the natives to Christians. The Europeans also did expeditions with the objective of establishing trade networks and also to scramble for colonies. The colonies were suitable for the material resources that could be exploited as well as the human labor. Slavery therefore became a reality to the settled communities that is the Aztec, Chibcha and the Mayas. The Portuguese colonized the Brazil territory and introduced the sugar plantations there. From that time revolutions to free the original inhabitants started in the 17th century with these countries achieving independence from the Spanish empire in the years around 1820 and 1830 (Burns 147). Most of the countries that are significant to the development of economic , social, and political aspects of this region include Argentina, Mexico, brazil, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Cuba, Chile, Peru, and Guatemala
Post colonial Latin America
Upon gaining independence, the common market established by the Spanish empire was destroyed and the dependence o financial investment was introduced. The countries were established with new borders and industrialization began thus also gaining economic independence.
Vanden and Prevost in the politics of Latin America: The Power Game, use a realistic approach on politics (233). Mainly, they focus on the powerful interactions between the countries as well as the policy making procedures and the benefactors of these policies. The politics of this area are much shaped with the interaction of the US and the interest it has in the region. This is mostly due to mineral resources in the region such as gold, copper, aluminum ore, iron, manganese, nickel, tin, nitrates, and silver, agricultural products such as cacao, coffee, rubber, fruits, wool and hide (Donald 38). These are what are referred to as the open veins that open ends to Europe and US; they can be traced throughout the continent up to Rio Grande and also in the Caribbean region. In conclusion, the analysis depicts the journey of a plundered and suffering society that still makes strides ahead even after almost five years of exploitation (Eduardo164).
Neo-liberalism and globalization in the context of IMF in the Latin America
Neo-liberalism is a set of economic policies set up especially in the establishment of the capitalistic economies. It is a phenomenon that is widely occurring in the Latin America since the markets are richly western and democratic. Consequently, in this context neo-liberalism can be referred to as the desire to intensify and expand the market, by increasing the frequency, repeatability, number and the formalization of market operations and transactions. The morality of the neo-liberalistic markets is that the transactions in the market are conducted in competition, occurring in an infinitely short time as well as in an infinitely fast rate. Often, the words globalization and neo-liberalism are used interchangeably though this is so only in limited aspects (Eduardo 72).
In Latin America some of the governments are neoliberal meaning that with the existence of the IMF is taken as an imperial empire which has colonized these countries in a de facto aspect. The politics therefore play out that the opposition in such a country wants to establish a government that will liberate the nation from colonial shackles. This liberation will work to withdraw the country from the global market of country organizations, economic nationalism, enable self sufficiency and protectionism instead of free global trade. This is because the government and national trade operations are viewed as victims of global commerce (Thomas 355).
In conclusion, the politics in the Latin America in modern day are surrounded by liberalism and globalization struggles. The governments in place work hard to adjust to the global commerce as well as dealings with the IMF, free trade and recognizing the needs of the opposition to avoid destructive revolutions. The IMF and other global financial institutions are seen as instruments of US and therefore the persistence of exploitation of these countries through economic policies that accompany these institutions. The governments therefore form trade blocs as well as connecting with communist countries such as china and Russia. One of the results is the formation of bilateral economic and political agendas and agreements which is referred to as the BRIC countries which is formed by Brazil, china, India and Russia (Harry & Garry 35).
Harry, V., & Gary P., The politics of Latin America: the Power Game, New York: Oxford University Press, 2002
Eduardo, Galeano, Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent, New York: Monthly Review Press, 1973
Donald M. Latin America: An Interpretive History. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1962
Michael D. Latin Americans: Contemporary Peoples and Their Cultural Traditions. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 2007.
Jan K. Latin America: It’s Problems and Its Promise: A Multidisciplinary Introduction, Boulder: West view Press, 2009.
Burns, E. Latin America: A Concise Interpretive History (4 Ed.). New York: Prentice-Hall, 1986.
Thomas E. & Peter H. Modern Latin America (6 Ed.), Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010